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Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 126
Likes: 9
Apprentice level 2
Victa Lawnkeeper with 450 series B & S 148cc motor was a roadside find some years ago and appeared to have had very little use. Only problem was it was revving insanely fast and felt like it would self destruct before too long. Also, when used with the catcher the motor had to be stopped before emptying out the clippings or stuff got blown everywhere.

Tired damm everything to slow it down - removed and replaced the carb/tank with a known to be normal carb/tank, soldered up the little hole in the throttle butterfly, filled the main jet with petrol-proof epoxy and drilled a smaller hole - nothing made any difference.

Yesterday with a bit a rare spare time I decided to investigate further, suspecting an air leak where the intake tube is bolted onto the cylinder. Had to remove the coil to get the tube off. There was a fair bit of grunge and cleaning it off noticed the problem.

It looked like someone had made a small cut through the wall of the intake tube with a hacksaw !

A bit of duct tape over the cut and the Victa is now behaving perfectly.

Just had to tell someone :-) Merry Xmas to all.

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Membership information
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,466
Likes: 143
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
HI MM,
nothing unusual there get quite a few like that the cowl rubs them through if the tube is up against the tube

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,487
Likes: 23
AVB Offline
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Most around treats walk behind equipment as an outcast step child. I tried repairing and selling them for a reasonable price to only just get insult offers. Now most that come in just parted out where I make 2-3x the money on the used that I install on those that customers do want repaired.

Personally have yet to see those plastic tubes worn through but it does make sense that it can happen. I have heard the tube getting worn through on the unseen side and causing problems.

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,466
Likes: 143
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi AVB,
I goofed a bit there, the tube gets rubbed through by the cowl, I get a few and I always remove the tubes from motors I am scrapping because I never know when I will need another tube. I also have seen a few broken off somehow. New tube and motor fires up no problems. As for selling these push mowers, certainly not worth the effort, I do it to keep the grey matter spinning and I do get a perverse sort of pleasure out of telling some lowballer ( I will give you $50 and come and pick it up now) to go take a jump of a high bridge if you get what I mean

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,045
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
If I advertise the same condition mowers you sell Norm and ask $50 here I just gets lots of lowball offers for $25.
On the other hand I've seen people with a Briggs and Stratton 4 stroke mower with a thrown rod and they
part the mower out and sell the parts on eBay and make $100.

As for the intake tubes getting rubbed through or breaking from memory all the ones I've had like that are from bolts
coming loose or dropping out ,people never do any maintenance to their mower small chunks of the blades
break off or they bend something blade related and the out of balance motor shakes bolts loose ,I've had a lot of motors
with loose manifold bolts ,loose carby / tank mounting bolts ,loose cowl bolts and quite a lot that the bolts
were missing ,when the parts are loose the manifold breaks or wears through.


Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,466
Likes: 143
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Max,
I'm fixing these mowers for peanuts but I'm not going to work for nothing. I can spend a lot of hours on a mower, replacing bushes on the front, fixing height adjuster, then often replacing the blades, changing the oil, fixing/replacing the throttle cable and all the other [Censored] annoying things that are broken on these mowers and then give them a warranty, I have to get $80/100 or I might as well take them all to the tip now, The slashers are a better proposition but I do do a lot of running around to pick them up. I wouldn't have bothered fixing any this season but a local bloke was giving it away and wanted to know if I wanted what he had left. Anyway this will probably be my last season on push mowers, basicly they are a waste of time

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 126
Likes: 9
Apprentice level 2
Thanks Norm, maxw and AVB

This mower has not been fiddled with before I picked it off the street years ago and when I pulled it apart the other day the three cowl bolts were tight. When I mucked around with changing tank/carbs around I can assure you the bolts were snugged up right afterwards. The manifold tube bolts at the cylinder end were tight and the gasket was perfect.

Had a good look today and yes, there's only a very small gap between the edge of the cowl and the tube, the O-ring and white plastic grommet where the tube mounts into the carb are sound. Can't imagine how there would be enough vibration to let the cowl edge grind down into the tube from motor overrevving, or some harmonics thing.

I'm thinking it might be that the painfully thin metal that the cowl is made of might be allowing some flexing when the starter cord is pulled, not something I can observe whilst tugging on the cord :-)

Anyhows, if the duct tape repair fails the lower cowl edge will get a bit of a grinding with my trusty Dremel .

BTW I do a lot of mechanical mower repairs/maintenance for myself and friends, family, etc. but not for $$$$$. In return people give me stuff they or others don't want, can't start, have chucked out, whatever. I currently have 25 + working mowers which get abused keeping our rural property sort of nice and don't cry too much if and when they break or expire.

Lately though brushcutters have been arriving as gifts or to fix and at Xmas lunch yesterday our host asked me to see what I can do with a Tanaka and a Shindaiwa which he hasn't been able to get started for ages. Neither had air filters and no evidence of ever having any maintenance. They are obviously high quality machines, both are now running and I have sent a note to ODK Online store with a beg for parts needed.

Thinking maybe in future I might do some brushcutter repairs for a bit of beer money, perhaps just specialise in Hondas of which I now own three, and a couple of Honda clones. The Shindaiwa B450 is an absolute beast, pity it's a 2 stroke though.........

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,045
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Norm , MM and all,

Yes I know all the work and time that goes into fixing these mowers Norm ,especially all the work you'd put
into a 2 stroke power torque mower that the base was newly painted and always thought $200. would
be cheap for all that work but people don't want to pay for fixing an old mower and is why so many mower shops have closed
these days.

I get the impression a lot of people have already gone to an electric mower as I see a lot of people using
electric mowers when I drive somewhere and happen to pass someone mowing their lawn.

I guess it's all heading to Robotic lawn mowers in the future anyway .

https://www.arizton.com/market-reports/australia-lawn-mowers-market-opportunity-growth-assessment

You can't tell if the bolts have come loose before on every mower MM as with every service I do I tighten the loose bolts

Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,466
Likes: 143
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Yes Max,
The painted 2 strokes were a lot of work, besides the mower itself it takes me 2 hours to modify a carby and get it working, and that is if I can get a float needle and primer cap to work first go, often I can spend another 2 hours fighting primer caps and needles before I get a combination that works. Then I have to wait a couple of days to see if it still works and usually a 50/50 chance, will it work or not and if not I can then spend another couple of hours going through the process again and then wait a couple of days and repeat the process. I tried hard with them but they are just not worth the grief they cause and I was only getting $80 for them anyway. No mower shop could even contemplate fixing a domestic mower when you can just go and buy a new piece of Chinese junk. I did check in Bunning the other day as I was walking through the mower section and their cheapest petrol mowers were $499, which is a lot of money for a mower that won't last too long, I fixed a PT for a bloke last week that he bought new in Sydney in 1987. Couple of front bushes, sharpen the blades, fit another decomp valve and it is good for another 20 years

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 126
Likes: 9
Apprentice level 2
Update, hopefully with an interesting observation.

The duct tape fell off after a couple of mows (of course) and I took off the cowl and attacked the edge nearest the intake tube with Mr Dremel and epoxied the hole.

This mower has always had a habit of kicking back unless given a good fast tug on the rope, so much so that I learned to put on a glove rather than get hurt fingers when the handle tears out of my bare hand.

I haven't bothered pulling off the flywheel to see why/if its too advanced.

The coil needs to come off to remove the intake tube. Usually I use a business card to set the gap but this time just used a bit of slightly thicker cardboard cut from a box of biscuits.

The kickback has disappeared - ? due to the thicker cardboard?

Also rubbed a bit of O-ring grease around where the intake tube enters the carbie. The motor is now "purrfect" right through from very slow idle to full chat.

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,466
Likes: 143
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Good to hear another success story, bigger gap might retard the timing a fraction


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